Conor Benn 'doesn't know how to cheat' says Chris Eubank

Conor Benn ‘doesn’t know how to cheat’ says Chris Eubank in another bizarre instalment in the drugs saga that’s rocked boxing as the rival pair’s famous fathers come out punching in defence of their sons

  • Chris Eubank has come to Conor Benn’s defence amidst the ongoing scandal
  • Benn was revealed to have failed a drugs test prior to facing Chris Eubank Jr
  • But the elder Eubank insisted that his son’s potential opponent was innocent
  • Nigel Benn is convinced further investigation will clear his son’s name

As Conor Benn attempts to fight his way out of a potential doping ban, he is receiving covering fire from the most unlikely of places — his father’s great rival Chris Eubank.

It was somewhat in keeping with a surreal saga that the latest contributions should come from a discussion between Nigel Benn and Eubank Snr at an occasionally fractious engagement in Coventry on Friday night, six days after their sons were due to fight.

That their bout was cancelled because of Benn’s positive drugs test for clomifene has amounted to one of the most explosive episodes in the recent history of British boxing. 

Former in-ring rivals Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn have both defended Benn’s son Conor following his drug test scandal

But still the fathers pressed ahead with the start of a new speaking tour, and Eubank in particular was scathing about the role of figures around Benn for what he alleges is their part in a mess that has jeopardised the 26-year-old’s reputation.

In appearing to take aim at Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn, Eubank told an audience of several hundred, including The Mail on Sunday: ‘We are in a business of hurt and we have to be protective of our sons. And we can’t leave that in the hands of people who are inexperienced, money hungry, greedy.’

He added: ‘(It’s) going to come out, what’s happened, who has engineered all of this stupidity at the cost of the lives of our sons. Conor is my son and is his (Nigel Benn’s) son. You’ve got to look after my son too as I will look after yours. Those who don’t, then the wrath of the people will come down upon you and will bring brimstone and fire on those who perpetrate, hurt and poison and destroy our sons. I think I’ve made myself clear.’

The 26-year-old Benn failed a drugs test after testing positive for banned substance clomiphene

While a number in the crowd looked bemused, Eubank Snr went on to say: ‘Conor Benn is innocent. He doesn’t know how to cheat. He’s a Christian. The people around him… let me put it this way, wouldn’t it seem normal to you that if a fighter failed a drug test, if he gets banned, then his entire team should be banned with him because they are one? But everyone else is free and it doesn’t make sense to me. There’s a particular promoter — I’ve not mentioned the names because it’s easy to work out. (It is) who I’ve been running away from and dragging my son away from this particular person.’

At that moment a member of the crowd shouted out ‘Eddie Hearn’, who has previously drawn criticism for not immediately cancelling the fight between Benn and Chris Eubank Jr once the parties were notified of the failed test on September 23. Eubank Snr responded: ‘Are you clairvoyant? Oh my goodness.’

Benn has maintained throughout this saga that he is a clean athlete and will clear his name

Benn has maintained that he is clean and his team are understood to have engaged the renowned sports lawyer Mike Morgan amid an official UK Anti-Doping investigation. His father Nigel Benn, who frequently appeared uncomfortable with Eubank’s contributions during Friday’s speaking engagement, is convinced his son will be vindicated.

He said: ‘I thank God the fight never happened with this lingering over my son’s head. Chris was saying to me, “My son can’t make the weight. He can’t make 157 (pounds, the controversial catchweight agreed for the October 8 fight). Well, he decided the weight. Then I saw a picture of him at 159.3 and I looked at him and he did not look well at all. So I thank my heavenly father for not letting this fight go on. Now I understand what Chris was saying.

Matchroom were forced to confirm the fight had been scrapped as they called the BBBofC’s decision-making ‘procedurally flawed and without due process’ 

‘I didn’t get it and then I saw him and it wasn’t right. If Conor had fought him and something went terribly wrong, and with that over his head, “You took drugs, you took drugs, you killed him or you maimed him”, we wouldn’t be able to live that down. But I know my heavenly father said, “No, this is all going to get sorted out first before the fight happens”. I guarantee you 100 per cent I am behind my son. If I thought my son ever took performance-enhancing drugs I would hang him out to dry.

‘I have worked hard to get my name where it is today but I know my son. He is a dedicated fighter. He would not take drugs. We will get to the bottom of this scientifically, so I am not going to say anything that contradicts what will come out. Me and my wife will stay out of this.

‘Let the lawyers and scientists deal with this, but I just pray to god that the apologies are as loud as the media that threw my son under the bus. They have already found him guilty before it has gone anywhere. I would be the first to throw him under the bus. I’ve watched my son cry in my arms. But he will get vindicated.’

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